In the age of curated social media accounts and perfectly edited YouTube morning routines it can feel as though we could always be doing more. Waking up at 5 AM, drinking freshly squeezed green juice, working out first thing in the morning, journaling, reading more, listening to the right podcasts, meditation, yoga, bubble baths and on and on and on.
The trouble with watching and mirroring someone else’s routine is that we lose sight of why we are doing things in the first place. Instead of building habits that take care of us and support ourselves, we end up with another list of things we ‘should ’be doing but don’t feel as though we have the time to do.
Honestly, it’s so easy to get caught up in what we can do each day to care for ourselves. We start to qualify if something is really self-care or if it’s the ‘right ’kind of self-care. Do face masks count anymore? Is it therapy?
Truthfully, at times self-care and good mental health practices can look/feel eerily like behaviors we adopt because we think we’re supposed to be some kind of human ideal. A laundry list of ways that we are falling short at being worthy. However, I know that a lot of what’s keeping me sane and happy at the moment could be shame-inducing behaviors for many others. So how do we determine what is for us and what is not? Perhaps it’s as simple as asking yourself if you’re doing it FOR you ( in order to feel the way you want to feel ) or if you’re doing it to FIX you? ( in order to be who you think you’re supposed to be in order to earn love/acceptance/security)
I may ask myself, “Am I waking up early because it puts me in a good state of mind or am I waking up early because I think I’m failing when I don’t?”
The difference is subtle but the distinction is important!
Then we can take the habits we’ve built in as data. What contributes positively to my relationship to self? What brings in energy? What brings in joy? What makes me feel happier to be here each day? MORE of that please.
What sucks the life out of me? What makes me feel less than? What has me caught up in my head about how I’m falling short? LESS of that.
Use self-care as a way to build out a life that makes you excited to wake up each and every day. It doesn’t have to be a dramatic shift of a completely new morning routine. Sometimes it’s as small as asking for 30 minutes in the bath without interruption or looking for the good that someone brings into your life instead of focusing on what they could be doing better.
Instead of thinking of self-care as something you ‘should ’be doing more of – start to think of it as choosing each day to live a life you enjoy living, what needs to change to make that possible?
To learn more about self-care and self-love, visit sarajanecase.